The Anniversary

Date 21st June 2018
Society Cast and Crew Theatre Workshop
Venue Richmond Hall Benfleet
Type of Production Play
Director Deb Adams


Author: Tessa Davies

An interesting play, this production seemed a little under rehearsed.  All the cast were good in their roles but there was a hesitancy about the production.  It was the first performance so some of this can be forgiven.  There were quite a lot of prompts, but I did feel that some of these may not have been required as the actors put dramatic pauses into the dialogue, only to be interrupted by the prompt.   Prompting is a skill and finding the fine line between giving the actor time to increase the drama of the dialogue and not allowing them to wallow for lack of a prompt is extremely difficult.

Having said that, the cast did very well with the three brothers creating very different personalities.  Matthew Willis (Tom) appeared, at first, to be the most relaxed but, as the play went on, we understood that he was an active manipulator.  A good portrayal of this character from Matthew.  Coral Baker was very good as his girlfriend/FiancĂ©e, seeming quite innocuous to start with but changing into a much stronger women as the play progressed.

Martin Lepley played the part of Henry very well; his expressive face was put to full use during the play and he gave a nicely balanced characterisation.  Mark Gopal was excellent as Terry, this is another actor with a very expressive face and he put that to excellent use too.  Even when he was not speaking, he was acting the part of the downtrodden and angst-ridden son.  Maxine Neil played his wife very well, her characterisation was spot in.

The key character in this play is, of course, the Mum who is seen as manipulative and controlling.  Zahna Hull played the part well, she had a lot of dialogue to deliver and she did have one or two problems with it at first.  Once she got into her stride the action flowed well.

The standing set was excellent, and what we have come to expect from this company.  Cast & Crew have a very strong team both on stage and behind the scenes and it is always a joy to see how they happily switch between those roles from one production to the next.

This was a new venue for Cast & Crew and it served them very well, although there was a technical issue when the stage lights dropped out.  Congratulations to the cast, who carried on without a pause.  Fortunately, it was close to the end of the first act, so they were able to resolve it in the interval.

Overall this was a good production with a strong cast.